WMS people

Athletics Resource Links

This “Changing the Game” piece by Coach Reed Maltbie addresses the long-term impact abusive coaching has on young athletes and offers sensible advice on how parents can become advocates for the children out competing.

Read the entire piece here.

This Tedx Bend talk by Paul Zientarski address the importance of daily physical education for children. With more than 40 years in the field of education, Paul Zientarski has created a highly successful program called the Learning Readiness Physical Education (LRPE) program at Naperville Central High School. The program has produced such dramatic improvements in test scores, behavior and childhood obesity that it has inspired adoption in school districts from across the country and around the world, including Denmark, China, South Korea and Canada. His program has been highlighted on major TV networks and featured in documentary films. Zientarski shares his educational philosophy and programs with audiences nationwide, including the President’s Council on Health, Fitness and Nutrition in Washington, D.C.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. See the video here. 



Cory Turner, Senior Editor for NPR Ed, examines the element of competition in youth athletics as part of a series on why people play and how play relates to learning. It’s a playful word that’s developed something of a bad reputation: “competition.” The fear among some parents is that, once children start playing to win, at around 5 years old, losing isn’t just hard. It’s devastating.

To explain what competition means to the average 5-year-old, I’m going to invoke an adult known for his ferocity on the playing field, a titan of competition: Vince Lombardi. The football legend and former coach of the Green Bay Packers didn’t just win the Super Bowl; he won thefirst Super Bowl. And then he won the second one. Lombardi once said: “Winning isn’t everything, but it’s the only thing. In our business, there is no second place.”




Knee injuries can sideline both and girl athletes for months, but right after puberty they are six times more likely to occur to young women, depending on the sport. The ACL injury rate for a female soccer player is 11.7 injuries per 100,000 practices or games, compared to 4.7 for a male. Katherine Hobson reports on a clinical report on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of ACL injuries published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The theory is that during the growth spurt that is part of puberty, a burst of testosterone helps boys get bigger muscles to go along with their new larger frames, says Cynthia LaBella, lead author of the report and a pediatric sports medicine specialist at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “Girls don’t get that burst” or the resulting bigger muscles, she says, which makes it harder to control their new, taller bodies. But their muscles can be trained.

Read the entire article here.




David Epstein’s Op-Ed piece for the New York Times advocates for a less-structured approach to athletics for young children.  The national furor over concussions misses the primary scourge that is harming kids and damaging youth sports in America,” he writes. “The heightened pressure on child athletes to be, essentially, adult athletes has fostered an epidemic of hyperspecialization that is both dangerous and counterproductive.”

Read his entire piece here.



New York Times article: “Sports Should Be Childs Play”

Multi-sport approach in youth is beneficial.



Pacific Standard – article “Can Exercise Close the Achievement Gap”

Benefits of exercise on academic performance



TED talk – David Epstein: “Are Athletes Really Getting Faster, Better and Stronger?”

Technology and the knowledge we have about the human is what is improving the performance of athletes



The Atlantic article

Exercise and ADHD





US Lacrosse article – “What Does It Take To Be Great: Tips From 35 Team USA Stars”

Four qualities that were most predominate. 1. Be a good student and person first. 2. Work hard every day. 3. Play multiple sports. 4. Have fun.



Yahoo Health article: “Kids and Sports: Is Training Getting too Intense”

“This movement toward a high-intensity sports culture has had experts warning against the dangers of injury for years, and now scientific research is starting to back them up.”



New York Times article – “How Exercise May Protect Against Depression”

Scientists have also known that exercise seems to cushion against depression. Working out somehow makes people and animals emotionally resilient, studies have shown.



TEDx Talk – video – “Changing the Game in Youth Sports: John O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan remembers when youth sports was about children competing with other children instead of adults competing with each other through their kids.